Radio Shack sucks

Well, I think I’m finally done with Radio Shack. Ugh. This place has really made me angry.

Anyway, I’ll let my letter to the Regional Manager do the talking.


Dear (Regional Manager):

I am writing to voice my disappointment in the company, and in particular, of the S. Western Ave. store in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, regarding the purchase and further inquiries of the Sirius Orbiter receiver and boom box.

On December 31st, 2004, my wife and I, who were shopping for Sirius satellite radios, stopped into Radio Shack, looking for some information and, quite possibly, to purchase some product. We were helped by the night staff, and had what we thought was a pretty pleasant experience. The clerk told us that we would be very happy with the Sirius Orbiter, and that the one they had on the shelf was the last one in stock. We were looking to take advantage of a rebate that was effective until December 31st, and we liked the idea of having the boom box attachment for camping and home use. We asked about the car docking station as well, and were assured that we would be able to get one in a few weeks.

The next day we went into the store to ask some questions about setting up our antenna. The first thing we noticed is that there was another Orbiter receiver on the shelf – meaning, of course, that the one we had purchased was not really the last one in stock.

Two weeks later, we entered another Radio Shack (E 12th St) and inquired about the availability of the Orbiter docking station. Boy, were we surprised when the clerk told us that, in fact, they were out of stock and quite possibly out of production! A few days later, I went back to the S. Western Ave. store and asked about the car docking kit. The clerk told me that they were not in, and when I asked about whether or not they were even going to be in stock ever again, he said that it was quite possible, and that they were switching to another model. I gave him my name and told him to give me a call when the docking station came in.

Around the beginning of February, after not hearing from any Radio Shack store (we had our name in at both of the stores mentioned,) I decided to call the store where we had purchased our receiver. I spoke with Derek, the store manager, explained how we had purchased the Orbiter under the belief that we would be able to get a car docking station. He explained that they were very difficult to get, and were, in fact, not being made anymore. I was offered the chance to return my Orbiter and boom box and instead get the newest Radio Shack model (with home and car docks), which unfortunately didn’t work because we not only wanted the boom box (the main reason we purchased the Orbiter in the first place) but also we would also be charged a $50.00 per Sirius to transfer our subscription to a new receiver. I asked what Derek could do to get me a car docking station, and he said he would look around to other stores.

After a week of no response, I called again, and was told that he would be speaking with you, his District Manager, and would explain my situation. Over three weeks later, I still had heard no response, and when I called again on March 4th, I was told that he was still not able to get any in stock, and instead offered me a refurbished car docking station – but was given no time line as to when it would be available, if it would be available at all.

I feel that Radio Shack has really pulled the wool over the eyes of a lot of loyal customers. I’ve been shopping with the company for 10 years, and to find that, among other things, the clerks misled, and at times lied, to us about what was available for the Orbiter, the management seemed in no hurry to help resolve any of my problems, and that the company as a whole was actively promoting a product that was nearly obsolete (which is evident by advertisements and signs hailing the affectability of the Orbiter at the end of January, when it was already known that it was no longer going to be produced) all comes to me as a big shock.

Even more troubling is that the satellite radio package we purchased only two months ago is now unable to be replaced, and to find compatible Orbiter products, such as any docking stations or replacement antennas, is downright impossible.

I am incredibly disappointed in the staff at the S. Western Ave. Radio Shack, in the management, and in the company itself for not letting us, as customers, know the true status of the investment we were considering. You have lost loyal customers in me, my wife, and everyone else who hears of our experience.

Corey Vilhauer


Edit – I’ve had lots of comments on this post over the past two years, and now realize that most people who search “Radio Shack Sucks” come here and think this was the end of it. It wasn’t – the situation was resolved respectfully and both sides came away feeling better.

See Radio Shack’s response to my letter (and my response to their response) here: Radio Shack, part two.

See Radio Shack’s response to my response to their response here: Radio Shack, the thrilling conclusion.

This was lovingly handwritten on March 5th, 2005